Artificial sweeteners have become widely popular. And why not? They seemed like the perfect alternative to sugar, offering zero calories and supposedly helping people avoid diseases associated with the overconsumption of sugar. However, a new study by a team of researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin paints a darker picture of the much-loved artificial sweetener.
Today, artificial sweeteners are one of the most used food additives worldwide, according to Medical News Today. In particular, diet sodas are notorious for offering all the pleasures of soda without the guilt of consuming large amounts of sugar.
When Dr. Hoffman, Ronan, and Hapsula investigated the biochemical changes in the body due to artificial sweeteners, the results were contrary to popular belief, detailed Forbes. The study, which was conducted on rats, showed that both sugar and artificial sweeteners affected the rats, but in different ways. They both change the blood vessels and blood, but artificial sweeteners also changed the rats’ metabolism. Dr. Hoffman elaborated on his findings at the Experimental Biology 2018 Conference on Saturday.
Despite the addition of these non-caloric artificial sweeteners to our everyday diets, there has still been a drastic rise in obesity and diabetes. In our studies, both sugar and artificial sweeteners seem to exhibit negative effects linked to obesity and diabetes, albeit through very different mechanisms from each other.
The results of the findings are significant, especially for diabetics, because it showed that artificial sweeteners could eventually lead to diabetes. For people who want to steer clear of these additives, be aware that it’s not found in just the obvious artificial sweetener packets and diet sodas. Since artificial sweeteners have become popular, they’ve been added to tens of thousands of products. Other products that use artificial sweeteners include toothpaste, gum, liquid medicine and even cereal. Dr. Josh Axe, a certified doctor of natural medicine, also warns people to also check ingredients for baked goods, alcoholic drinks, and prepared meat.
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This isn’t the first time that studies have shown the negative effects of diet soda. Other studies have shown that diet soda increases the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and serious cardiovascular ailments like heart attacks. In fact, the sale of popular brands like Diet Coke has been steadily falling in recent years, reported The Atlantic. People are turning to other sodas, coffee, and energy drinks as an alternative. However, the alternatives, like flavored seltzer water and 5-Hour Energy shots, can also use artificial flavoring and sweeteners, which come with their own set of negative health effects.